Friday, 28 October 2016

My love hate relationship with social media

Do you have a love/hate kind of thing going on with social media?  There are times I love Instagram, facebook and Twitter.  I certainly enjoy sharing my process and my quilting work and love when someone admires what I do.  I really enjoy the sense of community there is on Instagram especially.  I have known many of the quilters I have contact with on Instagram for years, even although I haven't met them all in person (yet).  I loved watching Charlotte Newland's ( whom I was in a few quilting bees with) journey through the Great British Sewing Bee and going on to win it.  It was great to share in her excitement and success on instagram and facebook.  In fact social media has brought me many opportunities I would never have had if it didn't exist.

There are times when I really detest it all though!  There seems to be this underlying pressure (maybe in my head) to be very prolific.  The more you post the more engagement and interaction you receive.  However, personally  I find it very difficult to be prolific.  Many people tend to "appear" that they are making and creating ALL the time.  Their creative output appears intense and constant.  I say "appear" because, as we all know, social media is very deceptive.  Just because someone appears prolific does not mean I should strive to be that way or even that they actually really are!

Oddly enough, I watched the first episode in the new Netflix season of Black Mirror.  This episode was set in a future that doesn't seem all that distant from the world we live in currently.  Social media is everything in this story. People are rated constantly.  Interactions with other humans are rated.  Conversations.  Just living.  It was a chilling prospect of what we "could" become if we are not careful.

What are your thoughts on social media outlets?  Do you embrace them and love them?  Do you tolerate them? Or perhaps you take very little to do with them at all?  And if so why?  I would love to hear your views !

In other news I have been working on quite a few secret projects for a commission.  Sadly I can't share the finished projects yet.  I really hope they will be well received in the near future though!  Here is a sneak peek of the machine quilting.  Love this combination of Art Gallery Fabrics Linen and the Aurifil 50wt thread!
So all that machine quilting results in a very fluffy machine in need of a good clean.  It looks much better than this now!
Spot the fluff bunnies

I have been working away on my Liberty scrap hexies whenever I get a moment.  I have no idea what they will become.  I am just enjoying this purely for the process.  I bought two gorgeous scrap packs of Liberty and love the variety of prints.  So special and the detail is immense!
slow but sure progress
basting more

Oh and to keep things honest and real, I had a delightful session of ripping out quilting.  It just wasn't good enough and had to go!  
my seam ripper got a work out!


Collette x







Friday, 14 October 2016

What a week!

Well what a week I have had!  I had the most awful cold and cough which just ended last night.  I coughed and spluttered my way through teaching my patchwork and quilting class on Wednesday.  I spent most of yesterday in bed and lounging on the couch drinking Lemsips (bleugh).  Thankfully today is the best I have felt all week!

The students in my classes are currently working on Kaleidoscope quilts, learning about the importance of planning and colour placement.  They just finished double wedding ring mini quilts in our curved piecing course.  Here are a few of the finished pieces.
 Mandy's son(one of 4!)bought her this lovely bundle of fabric in oranges and greens, so she decided her mini would be for him!  How lovely eh?  She loves to hand quilt and chose to do so with a little kiss in the middle because she loves her boy. x

Sandra used Christmas sample swatches from the shop owner to make her beautiful, glittery, blingy mini table topper.  She even used metallic thread!  There were a few curse words I am sure when the metallic thread was playing up and breaking.  However, we both learnt that you can get a specific machine needle for sewing with metallic thread.  You learn something new every day!




On Monday we had a really sad event.  We lost our cat of almost 9 years, Tigger, to a blood clot.  He was a big, healthy and strong cat but it was just his time.  He was a character and will be sorely missed.  Poppy (our 13 year old cat) is still going strong so far and Spot, (our jack Russell terror) keep us company and we have been giving them extra cuddles.
Look at his wee white socks! x
I have also been learning more and more about illustrator.  Skillshare is an excellent resource for learning in bite size chunks and my attention span isn't the best.  I really enjoyed making this little design based on my fox illustration.  I scanned the artwork and then digitised it to create a repeat pattern and a free wallpaper for a desktop or laptop, (in my payhip store).  I really am enjoying the process and sharing my work.  I enjoy getting feedback on my work as it helps me grow creatively.  I am wondering what this one may be like on fabric! There is so much to consider between colours and lines, balance and flow of it all.
The Fox King
Oh and I received a lovely fabric order for a magazine commission!  Isn't it lovely? Can't wait to get the time to sew it!
Joie de Vivre Bari J for Art Gallery Fabrics

Until next time!
Collette x


Sunday, 9 October 2016

Embracing technology in patterns and artwork

Since I posted about my inability to focus, I have indeed been excelling in continuing to be really crap at focusing.  I have been a distracted magpie again by shiny objects.

Those of you that know me, will know how much I love drawing and creating images.  A passion for fabric and patterns has grown out of my quilting endeavours.  So it seems only natural that I would experience a desire to turn some of my artwork into something practical.
linocutting

printed on fabric
In the contemporary world we are overwhelmed with technologies and ways in which to share instantly and create very quickly.  However, within me there is still a need to get my hands dirty and create in a very hands on, traditional manner.  I love to draw with pencil and pens, I am enjoying learning the process of lino cutting and printing,  I love to block print onto paper and fabrics too.  I do love everything that the digital world offers us creative people too.  The ability to scan my little drawing and prints and then transform them into a pattern or an image which I can then rapidly alter the colour scheme of, is honestly exhilarating to me.  It adds another dimension and flexibility to my art that I just have to embrace.
fish, fish, FISH!

lino print


Flight of the moths
So I have been turning some of my lino print art into repeat patterns.  It is a steep learning curve but one I am prepared to work hard at.  It allows me to maintain a hands on approach but then embrace the technology and flexibility the digital world has to offer.  My patterns are available as free desktop wallpapers and also for your mobile devices in my payhip store.  My goal is to actually get some swatches printed off from Spoonflower and use some of them to make some patchwork creations.  I then hope to eventually sell some of them too!
Feel free to download the wallpapers and I truly hope you like them!
Collette x

Spools 'n' tools 
block printed on fabric 


Tuesday, 4 October 2016

this last week in pictures (with a few words)

This week I have been quite thoughtful about the passage of time.  I suppose that is understandable as it will be my late mum's birthday soon and a year since she passed.

I had a lovely visit from my dad's amazing mum.  She lives in Ireland with family but wanted to spend some time with my dad.  She is 98 years young!  She looks like a 70 year old and is still pretty sprightly and reasonably healthy.  This was the first time my two kids had met their Great Grannie!  


My dad recently gave me my mum's old sewing box and last week I managed a rummage through it.  It was strange to find a little Liberty label, (I have no idea what the product was) but I have come to love Liberty fabrics so much which made it even stranger.  
I also managed some sewing and got a chance to test drive my free jumbo clips that came free with Love Patchwork & Quilting magazine.  
 

I have been really enjoying a bit of lino cutting too.  It is a steep learning curve but it is great fun.  I carved a little fish and tried block printing in a traditional Indian block printing way.  This lovely piece is winging it's way to Lucy from Charm About You.  


Speak soon!
Collette x